Buying in a Mailing List is a Mug’s Game

October 31st 2013       Sally Ormond       build your own list, buy in lists, in house lists, reputation management

This article first appeared on our sister blog, Freelance Copywriter’s Blog.

This article is mainly aimed at email marketing.

Email marketing is a great tool. You can reach potentially thousands of people within seconds, but it is also one of the toughest marketing tools to get right.

After all you not only have to think about who you’re sending it to, but also your message, your subject line, when you send it and how you write it.

The ‘who you’re sending it to’ but is the main focus here.

You have 2 options:

  1. Build your own list in-house
  2. Buy in a mailing list

Undeniably, option 2 is by far the quickest, but it is probably the least effective. Here’s why.

The downside of buying in a mailing list

The first thing you have to remember is that although the list you have bought may be for your industry (or customer base industry), it doesn’t necessarily mean the people on that list are interested in what you’re trying to sell.

The second thing to remember is that they haven’t asked you to make contact with them. As your email is unsolicited there is no guarantee they’ll open it.

Carrying on with the unsolicited theme, there’s a very good chance they’ll view your emails as spam because they haven’t opted in to receive them. You may not think of that as a problem, but if you get tagged as a spammer, your IP address could get blacklisted meaning you could face fines and penalties for violating the CAN-SPAM Act and UK spam laws.

Finally, because the recipients haven’t opted in, you’re mailing isn’t going to be targeted and therefore is unlikely to be effective.

Basically, although it will take time to grow an in-house list, it will benefit your business in the long run because:

  • The recipients want to hear from you
  • You can tailor your email messages to be highly targeted
  • You won’t be seen as a spammer

It makes sense. If you want great results build your own list.




Tags: build your own list, buy in lists, in house lists, reputation management
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